Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Kabei - Our Mother

The year is 1940 and Japan is at war with China. Apparently there are people at home who would openly oppose Japan's aggression and not classify the fighting in China a "crusade" (as the emperor's regime refers to it). The rederick on the street is that Japan will soon conquer all of Asia, and then defeat the United States and England. After Germany takes over Europe, Japan will confront and defeat Germany to at last rule the world. That's the rumor at least.

Shigeru "Tobei" Nogami is a professor whose books are repeatedly rejected by the censors. One night, the thought police arrive at his home and "detain" him indefinitely for his "anti-government" views. I don't know whether he's a communist, but the officials keep referring to him as a "Red". Clearly, there is a lack of free speech in pre-war Japan.

Everyone in this film has a nickname, so make note of the following:

Kobei (the professor)
Tobei (the professor's wife)
Teru-bei (the professor's artist daughter)
Hatsu-bei (the professor's doctor daughter)
Aunt Hisako (the professor's artist sister)
Yama (the professor's former student)

Venue: Netflix streaming
Language: Japanese w/English sub-titles
Genre: Drama
Rating: 4/5

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